Thursday, July 25, 2013

Breaking News: A Move Is In the Works

I started working at Paradigm Kitchen Design after being introduced to the owner while watching the Canada - Czech Republic hockey game at the Nagano Winter Olympics. Even though Canada lost the game, that meeting resulted in a new job for me at an up and coming design firm. It was good timing for both of us.  Paradigm was expanding and I was looking for a place to grow my skills beyond what working with a semi-custom brand of cabinets afforded me.

Paradigm not only designed kitchens, but did full remodels as well. To say I was pushed outside my comfort zone when I ran my first remodel is an understatement. But I was given the flexibility to try out new things, to fail and then learn from them, and eventually grow into the design professional that I am today. I am extremely proud of everything I have accomplished in my 15 years with the company. 

But there comes a time in every career that one needs to grow in a new and different direction. For me, that time is now. And so it is with great reverence that I announce I am leaving Paradigm Kitchen Design to pursue the next stage of my design adventure (details to come!).  I am forever indebted to everyone I have worked with during my time at Paradigm, and wish you all continued happiness and success. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

DIY Remote Control Light Switch ... OR ... A WeMo Way

I have a love-hate relationship with Bluetooth.  I love how Bluetooth makes it possible to effortlessly stream my favourite songs from my iPhone through the car stereo and answer the phone without taking my hands off the steering wheel.  But I absolutely hate my Bluetooth mouse (it constantly cuts out in the middle of Sketchup sessions) and I am gobsmacked that Apple will not allow a Bluetooth connection between the iPhone and my MacBook Pro.  I don't care what your reasons are Apple, it's just STUPID.

What does this have to do with this light switch.  Nothing, except that I was relieved when I learned about a new device from Belkin that has given Bluetooth a kick to the curb and opted for WiFi  to allow you to control a light switch with an app on your iOS or Android device.  Even Belkin thinks Bluetooth sucks!  With the free app you can control any light in the house, schedule them to come on or off, or just freak out the baby sitter when you're out for the evening.

The device is easy to install for any DIYer, or just hire your favourite electrician if electrical stuff scares you.  For $50, the WeMo is an inexpensive introduction to home automation.  For more information on WeMo, check out the Belkin website.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Railtown Design District Open House - July 10, 2013

Paradigm Kitchen Designs is a proud member of the Railtown Design District. Starting this month we're pleased to be participating with an exciting new event:

The RDD Open House

Starting next Wednesday, July 10th we are kicking off a new monthly event – the RDD Open House. Every second Wednesday of the month, visit any of the RDD showrooms and enjoy light refreshments, peruse our latest product offerings and earn a chance to win fabulous prizes! This is a great opportunity to bring your clients for a tour of all the amazing products and resources available exclusively to you through the RDD!

During the Open House you will be provided with a RDD Passport; visit all of the RDD showrooms to receive a stamp. Once you’ve completed your Passport, drop it off at your last showroom stop and you will be entered into a draw to win a $500 prize. This month's prize comes from us!  Paradigm Kitchen Design is donating a Toto “Guinevere” widespread lavatory faucet in a polished chrome finish.

A friendly reminder: Our neighborhood is under construction! Powell Street is closed from Hawks Avenue to Clark Drive, so plan an alternate route. Check out this link for more info.

The first Open House is on Wednesday, July 10th from 1-4 pm! Each of our five RDD showrooms will be open to you and your clients.

Make sure to stop by at each - Colin Campbell, Layers and Layers, Tritex Fabrics, Crown Wallpaper & Fabrics, and Paradigm Kitchen Design - to fill your "Passport" to enter to win a prize worth $500!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

An Uplifting Countertop Installation

One of the benefits of quartz surfacing is the standard sheet sizes available.  Sheets as long as 120" allow designers to specify longer runs of countertops and larger island tops without having to also specify a seam.  This is a major benefit to the designer and the home owner, but can create some problems for the installers.

This is a kitchen I'm working on in the False Creek neighbourhood in Vancouver (click on the image for a full sized view).  It's a second floor suite, and therein lies the problem.  The customer (and I) wanted this run to be seamless resulting in a run of 111", a size that can be produced without a seam in the Cambria quartz we have selected.  The trouble arrises when you try and figure out how to get this very large piece up to the second floor.  111" is too long to fit into the elevator, and the stairwells in the building have too many twists and turns to walk it up the stairs (not even considering how heavy this piece is!).

The solution was to bring the countertop material up the outside of the building ... with a crane.  My fabricators, Colonial Countertops, had obviously done this many times before because they called me well before the installation with the solution and the associated costs.  Yesterday was installation day and out of curiosity and fear I had to watch 1000's of dollars of quartz go airborne:

If you don't want to watch the entire video (feel free to skip to the end) everything went perfectly.  I think you'll agree the anxiety I felt watching the countertops get craned in was worth it in the end.  

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